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For plantitos, plantitas – Having plants at home improved psychological well-being during lockdown

The frequency with which study participants experienced negative emotions was higher in those who stated they had no indoor plants. Those living in small or poorly lit dwellings and those who did not visit green spaces frequently before lockdown also experienced more negative emotions.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels.com

An international study coordinated by the Research Group for Urban Nature and Biosystems Engineering (NATURIB) from the University of Seville’s School of Agricultural Engineering emphasises that having plants at home had a positive influence on the psychological well-being of the dwelling’s inhabitants during COVID-19 lockdown.

Researchers from the Hellenic Mediterranean University (Greece), the Federal Rural University of Pernambuco (Brazil) and the University of Genoa (Italy) participated in the study along with representatives from the University of Seville.

This study, published in the scientific journal Urban Forestry and Urban Greening, evaluated the role played by plants at home during the first COVID-19 lockdown. The situation between the months of March and June deprived the public of the chance to enjoy open spaces and nature, and forced them to spend extended periods of time indoors.

Its results have confirmed that having plants at home had a positive influence on emotional well-being during lockdown. This was agreed by 74% of the more than 4,200 respondents in 46 countries. In fact, more than half of them (55.8%) stated that they would have preferred to have more plants in their house during that difficult period.

The frequency with which study participants experienced negative emotions was higher in those who stated they had no indoor plants. Those living in small or poorly lit dwellings and those who did not visit green spaces frequently before lockdown also experienced more negative emotions.

Moreover, just over half of respondents (52%) reported spending more time on plant care at home during lockdown and almost two thirds (62.5%) expressed a desire to do so once normality was restored. As a result, 40% of the participants indicated that they were motivated to have more plants at home in future.

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